Cora Beels    Herman Gereke      Fay Gordon

Join NCT and NAC

as we recreate history

                    Schedule of Events:

Norfolk 150th Opening Ceremony

-Wednesday, 6/29 @ 7:00pm in Johnson’s Park-

-Free and open to the public-

Herman Gereke, Cora Beels, Karl Stefan, Fay Gordon, and Young John Carson will join current city leaders to tell the story of how Norfolk came to be.


Trolley tours of Old Town

*Please note: Hayracks will be used for the tours - wear your sunscreen!

-$10 / $5 for NAC and NCT members-

- There are a limited number of seats, so reserve your tickets now!-

-Reserve your tickets at


“Norfolk’s Beginnings” 1869 to 1934

Featuring Herman Gereke, Cora Beels, and Edna Gibbs

Times: Wednesday, 6/29 @ 4:00 and 5:00pm and

Thursday, 6/30 @ 5:00, 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00pm


“From Strife to Victory” 1910 to 1946

Featuring Karl Stefan and Dr. Richard “Diamond Dick” Tanner

Times: Friday, 7/1 @ 5:00, 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00pm


“The Roarin’ 20’s to the Swingin’ 60’s” 1920 to 1960

Featuring Dr. C.J. Verges, Orville Carlisle, and Laura Nel Carlisle

Times: Saturday, 7/2 @ 5:00, 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00pm


“The Great Depression to the Space Age” 1930 to 1970

Featuring Fay Gordon, Young John Carson, and Hortense Hagen

Times: Sunday, 7/3 @ 5:00, 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00pm



Downtown Walking Tours

Be transported back to 1956 and discover Norfolk as it once was – bring your walking shoes! All tours will leave from the the Old Mill Center on the NE corner of 1st and Norfolk Avenue.

Written by Amber Peterson with support from the Norfolk Visitor's Bureau.

Times:  Wednesday, 6/29 at 5:00pm

            Thursday, 6/30 at 5:00 and 7:00pm

            Saturday, 7/2 at 10:00am and 2:00pm

            Sunday, 7/3 at 10:00am and 2:00pm

-$10 / $5 for NAC and NCT members-

- There are a limited number of seats, so reserve your tickets now!-

-Reserve your tickets at

Elkhorn Valley Museum's Annual 4th of July Picnic

    and Norfolk 150th Closing Ceremony

All the characters will come together on the porch of the Dederman cabin to tell their life stories and the story of Norfolk.   


We will take the stage twice:

- @1:00pm: Herman Gereke, Dr. C.J. Verges, Dr. Richard “Diamond Dick” Tanner, Cora Beels, Karl Stefan, and Edna Gibbs

- @2:30pm: Young John Carson, Laura Nel Carlisle, Fay Gordon, Hortense Hagen, and Orville Carlisle


-Elkhorn Valley Museum, Verges Park-

-Free and open to the public-

Norfolk 150th Historical Reenactments

Produced by the Norfolk Community Theatre and the Norfolk Arts Center


Production Management by Kara Weander- Gaster and the Arts Center Staff


Directed by Adam Peterson

Devised in a collaborative effort by all those involved.




Herman Gereke, portrayed by Adam Peterson

Herman was Norfolk’s first mayor.  He helped to build many of Norfolk’s first permanent buildings, including the Mill and Norfolk’s first timber-frame store. Herman comes to us from the year 1890.

Adam is the Artistic Director of Norfolk Community Theatre and the Director of Theatre at Northeast Community College.


Cora Beels, portrayed by Kara Weander-Gaster

Cora was an early settler and Norfolk’s first historian.  She has travelled here from the year 1901. Prepare to be surprised by Cora’s engaging stories of Norfolk’s founding and her own relatively unconventional pioneer life.

Kara is the Executive Director of the Norfolk Arts Center.


Dr. C.J. Verges, portrayed by Drew Weise

Dr. Verges practiced general medicine in Norfolk and opened the Verges Sanitarium on Prospect Avenue.  He is responsible for converting the brick-works into a park for his patients.  He’s come here from 1924.

Drew works as a custodian at Northeast Community College.


Edna Gibbs, portrayed by Dawn Phelps

Edna joins us from 1934 to tell the story of one of Norfolk’s earliest schools.

Dawn is a paraprofessional for Norfolk Public Schools and homeschool teacher for three of her children.


Young John Carson, portrayed by Baden Luna

John has come from 1939 to share what it was like to be a kid in Norfolk in the 30’s.  He may just have a trick or two up his sleeves…

Baden lives in Norfolk and is a student at Norfolk Public Schools where he participates in football, wrestling, and track.


Dr. Richard “Diamond Dick” Tanner, portrayed by George Welsh

Dr. Tanner practiced medicine in Norfolk and was revealed later in his life to be a famous western showman who performed with Buffalo Bill.  He joins us from 1940.

George worked as a cattle buyer for Armor and is now retired.


Fay Gordon, portrayed by Peg Timmer–Kathol

Fay taught school in Norfolk and was a favorite teacher of Johnny Carson, who had her on his show later in her life.  She has travelled here from 1942.

Peg is a retired Art and Art History instructor from both Norfolk Catholic and NECC.


Karl Stefan, portrayed by Michael Brogan

Karl was a popular chief announcer in the first years of WJAG Radio, and later served as U.S. Congressman from Norfolk.  He visits us from 1946.

Mike is the Vice President of the Norfolk Community Theatre Board of Directors, and is an attorney here in Norfolk.

Laura Nel Carlisle, portrayed by Traci Wiese

Laura Nel served as a nurse in the Phillipines during WWII and later married Bob Carlisle, co-founder of Carlisle shoes.  Laura comes to us from 1950.

Traci works as an adjunct instructor at Northeast Community College and as a pediatric nurse.


Hortense Hagen, portrayed by Bethany Phelps

Hortense was a nationally known artist who has joined us from the year 1971.

Bethany is a recent graduate of LLL Academy who plans to continue her education at Northeast Community College.


Orville Carlisle, portrayed by Phillip Vuchetich

Orville loved to tinker with pyrotechnics, invented model rocketry as we know it today, and is credited with starting what later became the Big Bang Boom in Norfolk.  Orville is from the year 1976.

Phil is a pharmacist and consultant through Winter Wolf consulting.


Loretta Miller, portrayed by Amber Peterson and Linda Tuttle

Loretta is a fictional life-long resident circa 1956 who will guide participants through Norfolk’s downtown on special walking tours.

Amber will play Loretta on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday.  She works for Measure of Life and is heavily involved with the Norfolk Community Theatre.

Linda is a Director of Nursing and Board Member of the Norfolk Community Theatre.



We couldn’t have done it without assistance from the following:

Norfolk GM Auto

Elkhorn Valley Museum

Dress Rehearsal Costume Shop of Pierce

Sheryl Schmeckpeper

Norfolk Area Visitor’s Bureau

DEG/DACO Dan & Connie Geary 

Norfolk Public Library 

Norfolk 150 Committee